4. Provide a safety net — When delegating tasks—particularly if it’s a new experience for the employee being assigned the task—as the manager, you must be willing to provide an appropriate level of management support to help ensure success, for both the employee and the task.

A safety net is an environment of help and protection that works by:
•  Providing the necessary resources and training;
•  Allowing sufficient time to perform the delegated tasks properly;
•  Helping employees navigate company politics; and
•  Providing instructions on how tasks should be performed.

5. Let go and allow people to do their work — If you delegate a task and then micro-manage it to the extent that you have actually performed the task yourself, you have not delegated. Neither should you totally divest yourself from the delegated task because, as the manager, you are still ultimately responsible for all work performed within your department. The trick is to walk that fine line between being overbearing and non-participatory.

6. Be mentoring and instructive — This step provides direct instruction and advice to the person performing a specific delegated task. This sort of task-based instruction is a “learning moment,” namely, just-in-time training on how to perform a specific task or how to deal with a specific situation. 

The level of instruction and advice to be provided should be based on the combination of the person’s specific experience and the task difficulty and political ramifications.

7. Give credit to those doing the workAs a manager, you should adhere to the philosophy of “it’s the team’s success or my failure.” This approach will cause you to raise the visibility of your staff’s good work within the organization, which is motivating to them and will instill loyalty in your staff toward you. It also will help to remind you that you are ultimately responsible for both your team’s growth and your department’s productivity and performance.

8. Actively solicit feedback from your teamAsking the members of your team if they believe you have delegated the right tasks to the right people has the following advantages:
•  It helps you grow as a manager by learning how you are perceived as a manager;
•  It helps to improve your team’s performance by providing you with insights on better ways  to delegate and support your staff; and,
•  It shows your staff that you are willing to accept their suggestions, making you more approachable as a manager.

Anyone who is not comfortable delegating tasks to others should learn to go outside that comfort zone. Your willingness to take this leap will enhance your department’s productivity, enhance your managerial ability, and help your team expand its knowledge and range of skills.

Eric P. Bloom is the president and founder of Manager Mechanics LLC, a nationally recognized speaker and author of “Productivity Driven Success: Hidden Secrets of Organizational Efficiency.” He is also a nationally syndicated columnist, certified executive coach, and an Adjunct Research Advisor for International Data Corp. He is also a past president of National Speakers Association New England. Visit www.ManagerMechanics.com or twitter.com/EricPBloom.